Giving Thanks – Memorial Day

It is time for my annual expression of thanks, and admonition.

Please do not wish anyone a “happy Memorial Day”. This is the day we honor the thousands who have given their lives so that we can enjoy our way of life. This is a solemn day, and our dead heroes deserve our reverence and gratitude.

Today, you may criticize the government and not be arrested for it. You may choose where to go and what to do. You may decide to run for office, or move to another town or state. The people who protected your freedom to do all these things, and more, are pictured above. Take a moment to thank to thank them this weekend. ~ Steve


Decoration Day

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.

The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Civil War soldiers buried there.

Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.

It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. And some records show that one of the earliest Memorial Day commemorations was organized by a group of formerly enslaved people in Charleston, South Carolina less than a month after the Confederacy surrendered in 1865. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.

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Opening back up

Barring another outbreak or surge, things are opening back up. This does not mean that you should stop being careful. Using safe best practices will help ensure that once things are open, they can stay that way. While many mask requirements are being lifted, using one is still allowed and probably a good idea. You may have heard that the statewide mask mandate has expired and wondered why you still have to wear one in a business. Last year, before the statewide mandate, businesses opened and were given best practices to adhere to. That is where we are now. Additionally, some local municipalities have their own mask orders. Their authorization and requirement to protect public health in their town or city allows them to do this. ~ Steve

All New Hampshire state employees to return to offices by May 10

‘We expect to be fully operational and in person,’ governor says


State government employees who have been working from home during the coronavirus pandemic will be back in their offices by May 10, Gov. Chris Sununu said Thursday.

“All agencies are getting the same message, we’re not picking or choosing certain agencies or divisions or departments,” he said. “We expect to be fully operational and in person, with buildings open to the public, with public access for the business transactions that have to happen one on one.

While Sununu lifted the statewide mask mandate earlier this month, state offices remain subject to any municipal ordinances in their particular location, according to his office. The ordinance in Concord, however, where many state offices are located, only applies to retail businesses.

Individual workers can wear masks if they prefer, Sununu said.

“Obviously we always want them to feel safe, it’s always an option for them to have,” he said.

People on unemployment will need to show they’re job hunting

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Starting next month, New Hampshire is once again requiring that people receiving unemployment benefits be looking for work.

“Traditionally, you had to prove that you were searching for gainful employment while collecting unemployment benefits,” Gov. Chris Sununu said at a news conference Thursday. That was waived last year during the coronavirus pandemic.

Since, the economy has rebounded and New Hampshire has one of the lowest unemployment rates, at 3%. Starting May 23, residents are being required to look for work while on unemployment benefits. It doesn’t mean that if a person can’t find work, they will lose their benefits, Sununu said.

“There are tens of thousands of high-paying jobs across the state available today,” he said. “It’s just an awesome opportunity.” He said in one recent virtual job fair, there were over 100 employers offering more than 3,000 jobs, but only about 140 job seekers showed up.

Sununu said jobs need to be filled, especially in tourism-related areas, restaurants, hotels, and tech and manufacturing.

New Hampshire Works job centers will be opening to the public by May 10 to assist people. Job fairs are scheduled May 6 for veterans, May 11 for students, graduates and individuals using adult education programs, and May 13 for people in the construction industry.

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State Pauses J&J Vaccine

State Pauses J&J Vaccine, Won’t Slow Down Successful Roll Out

Concord, NH – The State of New Hampshire has announced a pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine, consistent with the recommendation of the federal government.

This morning, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommended a pause on the use of the single-dose J&J COVID-19 vaccine after reports that six individuals in the U.S. developed a rare disorder involving blood clots within about two weeks after vaccination.

The State of New Hampshire is working with all partners to ensure they are adjusting their operations to accommodate this pause.

“This news will not slow down New Hampshire,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “While the federal government has directed a brief pause in the J&J vaccine, the state is already working with our partners to ensure that they have an alternative supply of Pfizer or Moderna to help continue their efforts today.”

Currently, no state managed fixed sites are scheduled to hold Johnson and Johnson clinics.

Some Regional Public Health Networks were scheduled to provide Johnson & Johnson at clinics and to homebound populations today. The state is working with them to provide them with an alternative supply of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine so that their efforts do not slow down as a result of this pause.

Through the Federal Pharmacy Program, Walmart locations had planned to administer Johnson & Johnson today. All Walmart locations will have an alternative vaccine by 1pm today – if someone has an appointment after 1pm, they are encouraged to attend. If they have an appointment at Walmart before 1pm, they are welcome to visit any of the state-managed sites and their appointment will be honored.

This announcement is specific to the J&J COVID-19 vaccine and not related to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. We encourage people to continue with their scheduled appointments.

COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority and all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination area taken very seriously. The CDC has indicated that those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their healthcare provider.

COVID-19 Summary Report

(data updated as of April 12, 2021- 9:00 AM)

  • Number of Persons with COVID-191  89,229
  • Recovered     84,588 (95%)
  • Deaths Attributed to COVID-19  1,257 (1%)
  • Total Current COVID-19 Cases 3,384
  • Current Hospitalizations  118
  • Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)2  675,941
  • Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Antibody Laboratory Tests2  39,026
  • Persons with Specimens Submitted to NH PHL  71,177
  • Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL3  132

1 Includes specimens positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.

2 Includes specimens tested at the NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL), LabCorp, Quest, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Mako, certain hospital laboratories, the University of New Hampshire and their contracted laboratory, and those sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.

3 Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH PHL. Does not include tests pending at commercial laboratories.

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update – April 12, 2021

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update on the new coronavirus, COVID-19.
On Monday, April 12, 2021, DHHS announced 380 new positive test results for COVID-19, for a current PCR test positivity rate of 9.8%. Today’s results include 210 people who tested positive by PCR test and 170 who tested positive by antigen test. There are now 3,384 current COVID-19 cases diagnosed in New Hampshire. Of the results reported today:
 4/11: 380 new cases
Several cases are still under investigation. Additional information from ongoing investigations will be incorporated into future COVID-19 updates. Of those with complete information, there are sixty-two individuals under the age of 18 and the rest are adults with 53% being female and 47% being male.

The new cases reside in Rockingham (91), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (56), Strafford (43), Belknap (31), Merrimack (30), Grafton (18), Cheshire (7), Sullivan (7), Carroll (6), and Coos (2) counties, and in the cities of Manchester (31) and Nashua (30).

The county of residence is being determined for twenty-eight new cases.
Community-based transmission continues to occur in the State and has been identified in all counties.

Of those with complete risk information, most of the cases have either had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis or have recently traveled.
There are currently 118 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. In New Hampshire since the start of the pandemic, there have been a total of 89,229 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed.

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